Monday, November 7, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Brenda Pierce

Homemade Harvest is less then one week away and we only have a few more artists to meet, including today's Brenda Pierce. Brenda and I know each other from her work with the Salaam Culture Museum and I'm excited to see her beautiful jewelry in person.
Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do? 
I work for Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM), a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian and medical aid to Syrian refugees. We raise money and collect donated goods to help the refugees in Jordan and Greece, and send humanitarian mission teams to Greece on an ongoing basis. It also has a private collection of cultural items from the Middle East and North Africa that is loaned out for special events. I also work for Caravan-Serai Tours, specializing in travel and tours to the Middle East and North Africa, and shares the office with SCM. A few times a year I get to travel to the region either with tour groups or for a mission.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do? 
Making jewelry is a creative outlet that is different from my “day job” and gives me a way to exercise the other side of my brain. I’ve always liked to make things and to be crafty. I think it runs in the family – my mother has a craft room that is packed with supplies for all kinds of things. My grandmother always had things for us to do and one of my favorite things to get into when we would visit were the giant jars (2+ gallon glass pickle jars!) of buttons and miscellaneous beads that she let us play with.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why? 
There are numerous people I look up to and admire. I admire their perseverance, entrepreneurship, and ability to bounce back from adversity. Several people come to mind so I would name one individual, but I look up to people who are fair, determined, creative, can think out of the box, and who get things done.

 What other passions do you have in your life?
 I really enjoy the art of wine and cider making. We make our own hard cider at home that is winning awards in amateur competitions. We enjoy learning from other wine makers, visiting their wineries, and also trying out other new and different beverages that are locally made, hand crafted, have unique characteristics, and quality ingredients.

How do you promote your work?
 I am just starting out so I have promoted my work through my friends and family and shown it just a few times. I have posted various pieces on Facebook and Instagram.

In the future I’d like to be… 
The owner of my own business. I have a few ideas and just need to decide what exactly I will do and finalize my plan.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Northwest Suds

I'm trilled to talk about today's vending artist at Homemade Harvest because she is a returning artist that you will be familiar with from last year: Natalya of Northwest Suds

Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?

I am a wife and a mother of 2 grown-up daughters. I am also a bioengineer, working in medical device industry. My responsibility is assuring that the medial devices are clean, sterile and non-toxic when they reach patients.  So my work is all about cleaning – and so is my hobby.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
To some extent - my family and friends who like to use my soaps and see benefits. But overall I like homemade soaps for no particular reason.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
To Mother Nature. With billions of years of evolution under its belt, it is way more simple and way more complex than anything a human would ever make. In nature everything is interconnected and has purpose. Things are practical, yet beautiful. That is what I would like my soaps to be. 

What other passions do you have in your life?
Walking outside, hiking. I prefer to spend time outdoors, and like moving. If I am not working, eating, sleeping, showering or making soaps – I am most likely walking somewhere outdoors.  

How do you promote your work?
I do not really promote it. It is mostly word of mouth. I give soaps to family, friends or neighbors. If they like it – they promote my soaps for me, I do not even have to ask.

In the future I’d like to be…
Myself. Same as today. Maybe wiser, but not a day older. Maybe a better photographer (but I said that last year, didn’t I? :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

4rd Grade Art Lesson: Frank Stella and Lines

This year my daughter is in 4th grade and her teacher has graciously allowed me to come in and teach art to her class.  Today was our first lesson.

During the year, we'll be studying the seven elements of art and I decided to start with lines.  We used only paper and pencils as materials. I like to include an artist with each lesson and choose Frank Stella.

I was not able to secure the art room and needed a lesson that wouldn't utilize messy materials.  Since this was some of the students first time meeting me, having an easy lesson to start also allowed me more time to memorize names and observe listening styles of the kids.

We started by talking about the seven elements we'd be learning about in the coming year. I explained that artists use these seven elements to create art, and we'll be going through them, starting with lines.

I told them that lines can be bent into curves and broken into angles to create an infinit number of configurations.  These include zigzag, curve, wavy, spiral, scalloped, etc.  We listed more types of lines together.

Then we went on to getting to know the American artist Frank Stella, who currently lives in New York City, NY.  He was born in 1936 in Massachusetts to a doctor father and a mother who was a landscape painter. He went on to study history at Princeton University before moving to NYC in 1958 after gradation.

Frank Stealla, Sinjerli, III, 1968

Frank Stella didn't feel that a painting had to represent or look like anything but a painting.  He was quoted in the early 1960s as saying a canvas was "a flat surface with paint on it - nothing more".  His work is known for being abstract and minimalist.

Frank Stella, Star of Persia, II, 1967

We looked at a few of his pieces and talked about the size since most took up whole walls.

Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967

We moved on to our art lesson by first talking about henna and how some cultures use lines it to decorate hands on special occasions. I told them that for today's lesson, they were going to outline their own hand and arm and decorate it with as many types of lines as they can fit in.

Here are a few of the masterpieces:

A few were able to finish early and had time to come up to the front of the class to list all the different types of lines they included in their arms and hands.

The kids were great. They really got the concept of lines and how to use them to create minimalism art.

More art lessons can be found checking out past Art Lesson posts. See you in two weeks!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Yolande Mélékian

Today we meet artist Yolande Mélékian, who is new to Homemade Harvest. I am looking forward to meeting her and seeing her beautiful handmade items in person.

Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
I’m a French artist, have been leaving in the northwest for 3 years. I started as a social worker in Paris, helping families in need to see through there life changes. I later created my own career counseling business.  After moving to the US I decided to follow my dreams and live my passion

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?

My creation are usually inspire par seasonal theme, must specific I get inspire by materiel itself. When I found a fabric I instincly see what I what to do. My children inspire me to create fiction of character costume.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?.
I’m a autodidact I like to learn for myself and experiment new approach to creativity. I like to think of mistakes are new opportunities to full my creativity.

What other passions do you have in your life?
My other passion include dance, swimming,cooking french desert. But onlymy true  passion is to spend time with my kids and watch them growing.

How do you promote your work?

I promote my work through events, selling in French boutiques and by word of mouth.

In the future I’d like to be…
traveling around the world to find new inspiration for my creation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Navanka Creations

I'm excited to talk about today's artist that will be vending at Homemade Harvest because she is a returning artist that you will be familiar with: Amrita of Navanka Creations.

She was at our 2014 pop-up and her handmade quilled ornaments sold out!  A majority of them are one of a kind, so I suggest you get there around noon if you missed out on a favorite last time.

Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?

I am a work at home mom and live with my husband and two sons in Redmond, WA. My elder one is almost seven and younger one is two and half years old.

I co-own Navanka Creations with my sister Nimisha who lives in Chicago, IL. We have two shops on ETSY where we sell our Paper Quilling and Felt creations.

 “Paper Treasures” by Navanka Creations offers unique, handmade Paper Quilling Ornaments, Keepsakes and home décor items like Wall Art, Coasters and Custom Typography Art.

Felt Treasures” by Navanka Creations is a collection of handmade and heartfelt items made using felt. Our Felt Treasures include Hair accessories, Ornaments, Home Decor items and Keepsakes.

With my growing kids and working for two Etsy shops, I rarely get time to do anything else these days. Listening to music and reading books are my favorite activities to unwind after a long day.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do? 

 Creating gives me immense satisfaction. I grew up in India and lot of my work is inspired by the local art and vibrant colors of India. I love to be part of special moments in lives of our customers. When my work is well received by the customers, it inspires me and keeps me going.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why? 

I look up to my parents for the amazing people they are. I am inspired by the hard work, sincerity and love with which they raised me and my siblings. We were always encouraged to do what we love and strive to be the best in whatever we did. As an artist I love the work of Yulia Brodskaya. I really admire the way she combined her Graphic Design education with Paper Quilling art to create her unique style and earned an international reputation as a paper craft artist and illustrator.

What other passions do you have in your life? 

 I am passionate about my family and my work. Making art and craft with children brings me great joy. I love to take photographs and hope to carve out some time and learn its technical aspects.

How do you promote your work? 

At present we promote our work mostly using social media.
Our Facebook Pages:
Our Blogs:

In the future I’d like to be… 

I would like to keep growing as an artist and entrepreneur. I would love to be able to give back by raising money for charitable causes for children. I wish to open a Craft Academy where people of all age can come and learn various crafts and engage in creativity. I would also love to write a book on paper crafts someday.

Be sure to save November 12th on your calendar and stop by to say hello.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Julia’s Charming Creations

Homemade Harvest is less then a month away, so I thought it would be a great time to introduce the artists that will be vending this year.

We start with Julia of Julia’s Charming Creations.  She will be selling bookmark charms.  Here is an adorable photo of one of her dogs, on the computer looking busy answering customer email.

Homemade Harvest has always been known for having a very low entrance fee to vend (all vendors put in 10% of their sales to cover the food and no other fees apply) and Julia has decided she will be donating the rest of the money she makes that day. All. of. it.  How generous is that?  Please come help her and her cause at our pop up show.

Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
I’ve lived with my husband in our little old cottage style house on Education Hill since 1983.  I’ve led a fulfilling life that has encompassed travel to incredible lands.  I’ve had a variety of interesting and fun jobs.  I am now enjoying retirement, especially being outside and on hikes with our three dogs.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
I love to make my bookmarks/window charms/decorations so that I can raise money to donate to animals in need at People Saving Animals.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
I have enormous admiration for a friend named Vivian Goldbloom.  She has devoted her life to saving animals and a few years ago opened Emerald City Pet Rescue in Seattle.  She has a heart of gold and has saved thousands of animals over the years.  She is not at all judgmental of people, does not gossip and is a lot of fun to spend time with.  I got to know her as I have two dogs that Emerald City Pet Rescue saved.

What other passions do you have in your life?
My main passion is nature and its wildlife.  I have built our yard to be a bird sanctuary and love creating outside among the many different bird species that visit.  I adore dogs and have done so I’m sure, since I came out of the womb!

How do you promote your work?
My bookmark creations are a hobby and Ann, the owner of McDonald’s Book Exchange in Redmond, has kindly allowed me to display them at her store for no charge. This allows me to donate all my earnings to such a great cause.

In the future I’d like to be…
I think I would like to live in an adobe house in New Mexico as I love the sun and it would be wonderful to try a completely different way of life. Unfortunately my husband is not on the same page with this idea!

Be sure to follow this blog for our next interview. And check out the Facebook page for more information on Homemade Harvest 2016.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Recycled Quilled Art - Vertical Khatam Flower

I was out this week with my girls looking for used medical supplies. We do this weekly around our town, sending our finds to Syrian refugees at a camp in Jordan.

On the way to the check out, I came across this Hallmark lighthouse shadow box frame with an image and a poem.  I loved the blue mat colors and picked it up to bring home.

Last night, I played around with designs on Photoshop. I then pulled out my quilling tool and papers and this is what I came up with in one sitting.

Recycled Quilled Art - Vertical Khatam Flower